We didn't come to Africa with the intention to find a job - but this one seemed to find us.
Having found ourselves unexpectedly in Malawi we came across the job advert whilst having breakfast at the golf club in Mulanje. Without any real expectation it would come to anything we looked up Carl Bruessow of Mount Mulanje Trust (and also a trustee of Nyike-Vwaza Trust) and in no time we were up on the plateau and finding out what we had let ourselves in for.
It was hard work, physically and emotionally; we worked 7 days a week and were effectively on call 24 hours a day. For the first few months we had the only working vehicle on the plateau and were living in a community numbering more than 600 people of whom we were responsible for about 60. The nearest town (for supplies and communications) was an 8 hour round trip and the nearest medical facilities about 2.5 hours all over tough roads. Electricity was an occasional couple of hours in the evening. To combat the difficulties of getting fresh food we started a garden to grow fresh vegetables which was thriving by the end of our stay.
Our job was to supervise the Trust's work programme and staff. This involved assisting the Malawian Department of National Parks and Wildlife with essential work to maintain the park - which is the size of Somerset. Tasks ranged from road grading and maintenance and bridge building to controlled burning and putting out wildfires. It also included special projects such building a dam to keep the water levels in Lake Kazuni in Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve high enough to keep the resident populations of elephant and hippo happy and regenerating nature trails within the park.
Though tough, and at times very tough, it ranks as one of the most rewarding things Jerry and I have ever done.
Click here to see some more pictures.